NG taxes to go up de­spite frozen rate

The Glengarry News - - Straight Talk - News

BY AN­GELA BROWN

Staff Zero it is. De­spite a great deal of hag­gling on both sides, with a fi­nal 4-1 vote, North Glen­garry coun­cil froze the mu­nic­i­pal tax rate when it adopted the 2015 mu­nic­i­pal bud­get Mon­day.

Coun. Jeff Man­ley was the only coun­cil­lor op­posed to the bud­get, hop­ing for a half per­cent­age point tax rate de­crease in­stead.

While there will be no tax rate in­crease, prop­erty own­ers are ex­pected to see an in­crease on their taxes as a re­sult of in­creased prop­erty assess­ments, based on Mu­nic­i­pal Prop­erty As­sess­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (MPAC) re­ports.

The net req­ui­si­tion of $4,704,500, to be raised through prop­erty tax­a­tion, rep­re­sents an in­crease of $234,500 from the 2014 amount of $4,470,000.

For prop­er­ties val­ued at $100,000, the mu­nic­i­pal por­tion of the residentia­l bill will be $507, com­mer­cial $828.40, in­dus­trial $ 1,046.10 and farm­land $126.70.

Deputy Mayor Jamie Mac­Don­ald said coun­cil de­cided ear­lier to re­move a pro­posed $1 mil­lion RARE re­cy­cling plant up­grade. “We still need to dis­cuss the is­sue,” he said.

Ini­tially at the meet­ing’s first vote, coun­cil­lors Brian Cad­dell and Michel Depratto and Mayor Chris McDonell voted in favour of the bud­get with Deputy Mayor Jamie Mac­Don­ald, Coun. Jeff Man­ley and Coun. Carma Wil­liams op­posed. Those op­posed ob­jected to what ap­peared to be an added $20,000 in sav­ings to top up the con­tin- gency fund, bring­ing that amount up to about $47,000.

Coun. Wil­liams urged coun­cil to re­sort to a 0.55 per cent de­crease in taxes, say­ing there is no need to fin­ish the year with an un­nec­es­sary sur­plus in the con­ti­nency fund or as she called it a per­ceived “slush fund.”

Coun. Jac­ques Massie was ab­sent from the meet­ing due to ill­ness.

Mr. Mac­Don­ald later said Mr. Massie’s voice was missed at the meet­ing and it made it dif­fi­cult for coun­cil to come to an early res­o­lu­tion in ap­prov­ing the bud­get. He added it doesn’t make sense for coun­cil to put so much money in its con­tin­gency fund. But he was sat­is­fied that in an amend­ment, coun­cil ul­ti­mately ear­marked about $26,000 to be di­rected into the gravel pro­gram.

Coun­cil turned to CAO Daniel Gagnon to de­cide whether it would be best to try to ap­prove the bud­get or put it off un­til Mr. Massie re­turned. Mr. Gagnon said the $20,000 coun­cil was ar­gu­ing about it was not worth fur­ther de­lay­ing pass­ing the bud­get. “Let’s do this,” he said.

Af­ter the meet­ing Mayor Chris McDonell said he was sat­is­fied the bud­get was fi­nally ap­proved and said ear­mark­ing more money for the gravel pro­gram is a good de­ci­sion.

Kenyon res­i­dent Ken Turnbull was the only tax­payer present dur­ing the bud­get pre­sen­ta­tion. He said af­ter the meet­ing he was con­tent with the out­come. He didn’t see the need for a 0.55 per cent tax rate de­crease as ad­min­is­tra­tion had orig­i­nally rec­om­mended in pre-bud­get talks. He sug­gested a 0.4 per cent tax de­crease. That way there would still be a lit­tle money di­rected to the con­tin­gency fund. He was in favour of putting more money into the roads bud­get, how­ever.

Wa­ter and sewer ris­ing In the water­works bud­get for 2015 coun­cil ap­proved a two per cent in­crease in monthly wa­ter / sewer rates for house­holds, which works out to $56.66 for wa­ter and $30.91 for sewer ser­vice, or $87.57 in to­tal, up from the base rate of $85 per month.

SCOTT CARMICHAEL PHOTOS

IM­AGES FROM THE DUN­VE­GAN WIN­TER CAR­NI­VAL: At left, Mae Ella McCormick, 4, of Dun­ve­gan, ob­vi­ously loved the to­bog­gan hill at last Satur­day’s fes­tiv­i­ties. At right, Sam and Jake Wensink of Maxville were in charge of the sleigh rides.

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